Stainless Steel Nails and Screws - What's The Difference?

The physical differences between nails and screws are obvious but what is less clear is for which particular application each should be used. Both items are designed for very different purposes, as explained in this article.

All fasteners are designed to resist various forces, holding components together in a way that could not exist naturally. Nails have been designed to resist shear (sideways) forces while the threads on a screw lock strongly to resist withdrawal force.

A simple experiment can be carried out which clearly shows this crucial difference. Take two nails and two screws and use the relevant tool to insert them just over halfway into a block of wood. Now, using the claw of the hammer, attempt to remove a nail and a screw. It quickly becomes clear that removing the nail is easy while the screw holds tight, exhibiting the resistance to withdrawal shown by screws. Now use the hammer to hit the other nail and screw from the side. The nail will bend yet will hold fast in the wood while the screw will have widened the original hole it made as it was inserted and become loose. This shows the superiority of the nail at resisting shear forces.

Whichever type of fasteners and fixing are used, it is important that they are of high quality to ensure the safety and functionality of the completed project. BS Stainless are proud to supply both nails and screws in our diverse online shop, which also offers access to our Bandfix stainless steel banding, toggles and stainless steel welding wire.

Our standard stainless steel nails measure 50mm x 3.35mm, are fabricated from 304 (A2) grade metal and are sold in bags of 1, 5 and 10kg. These sizes, grades and quantities are all infinitely adaptable as we can produce completely bespoke orders in order to offer customers a comprehensive choice. The annular ring shank stainless steel nails exhibit strong resistance to corrosion and are therefore far more durable.

We supply a full range of stainless steel wood screws, both in standard or bespoke sizes and grades. As well as the common self-tapping slot pan head, we can also supply other drives such as hex-head and pozidrive. Bulk packs are available and we have added convenient small packs to our online shop, containing 100 screws per box; ideal for a small DIY project.

For more information on our stainless steel screws and nails and on choosing which would best suit your intended project, please call us on +44 (0)1772 337555 or email

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